As much as I love watching Olympic diving, I have never understood why athletes rush out to the showers and then continue to relax in a hot tub after each dive. They are already wet. They’re only in the pool for a handful of seconds, so it’s not like they need to be cleaned up. And does not the same purpose serve to take a bath and immerse in a whirlpool? And it comes from someone who swam competitively and knows the importance of warming up and cooling down. So what’s the deal?

As it turns out, showers and whirlpools are used fairly interchangeably on the pool deck; however, both are needed. Let’s first start with why divers should rinse between divers. It has to do with body temperature and keeping the muscles loose. As you can imagine, it is not the best feeling in the world to do workout dives in the pool and then have to keep your body warm in a shower and then throw a 10 meter long platform into cold water. Going back and forth between these hot and cool temperatures can cause a diver’s muscles to tense or cramp, which can lead to muscle tension and spasms. Showers allow an Olympic diver to recover and avoid potential injury.

That way, showers and whirlpools serve the same purpose. The shower walls on the pool deck can typically accommodate multiple divers, and they are especially useful for athletes who need to stretch or who only have a few minutes between dives. Just as Olympic swimmers rely on parks to keep their muscles warm, Olympic divers rely on these “cooling methods” to stay loose. If you ask me, this is not a bad way to spend time!